work x pleasure activsm28 Jun 2023
Climare changes oblige, fully luxury automated communism is not on the horizon anymore. It’s not like the old workaholic in me ever truly craved that. But as the desire for work and achievement is often pushed as this simple idea of internalised capitalism, I wanted to try to think about the future of (our relation with) work.
Personnaly, I’m not very good at having fun or at doing nothing. I am definitely considered an overachiever by my people. And I did burned out twice before turning 25. Now, I have put the boundarie to not accept to work any full-time job because I know I am not ready to let go of my 345285 personal projects I have on the side, therefore working full-time will almost systematically lead me toward the burnout route.
At once, I tried to slow down on my political activities. My social life often revolved around organising meetings and in the long run, I thought it was kind of unhealthy. I need to allowed myself to just chill. And I did this, I’m still doing this : allowing myself to chill, and coming back in the ‘’productive field’’ gradually, while keeping in mind my priority of keeping my life in balance.
I don’t know where I heard or read recently that the issue is not about trying to abolish work, but rather reclaiming work. It resonated in me as I am kinda doing that, since my ‘’chilling moment’’ is also a moment where I’m trying to consolidate the foundation of my very own non-profit. If I have to work, I will work in my own term, on something I truly believe in. So I realized I was already in the praxis of reclaiming work.
It lead me then to want to ponder about the theory around this idea of reclaiming work. How can work be pleasurablre and fullfiling? On a more personal level, how can I try to stop with this fear that I am necessarily working from a place of internalised capitalism, making myself feel shame for wanting to be useful and accomplish things?
So, I’m coming to the terms that human nature might actually crave work. Psychologist Csikszentmihalyi’s notion of flow comes to mind. I also think about the fact that using our hands to do manual works actually is good for the brain.
In my activist circles, we already started this reflexions a few years ago about how can we find (and bring) joy and pleasure in all this unpaid labor of ours. Now, I’m thinking, how can I personnaly bring a change around work in the lineage of pleasure activism? Maybe the issue this whole time wasn’t that I’m ‘’not able to have fun’’. Like I’m able to have fun and I am fun to be around. I make people laugh in meeting, I find ways for things to flow more efficiently, dare I say, more pleasurably.
Because the thing is, there will be just more and more work to do in the following year. In the realm of activism but also in general with the upcoming collapse of everything. How can we create an anticapitalist culture of (fullfiling) work that can not be recuperated by the current ideology? How can work nurture our growth instead of economical growth?
Related content :
- how to get your shit together in this capitalist hellscape, freebie made for my The Happy Anticapitalist project
- in the mouth of the lion, digital garden entry from sept 2021